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University of Arizona Making Efforts to Stamp Out Party School Label

For years, Arizona has been thought of as a “party school” state, with Arizona State University consistently grabbing the “biggest party school” label. But the University of Arizona in Tucson is taking steps to crack down on unruly behavior, with more students getting busted for alcohol violations on campus and fraternities being suspended or shut down.

Playboy magazine's May issue named the University of Arizona No. 5 in its biennial party-school rankings. ASU, which once topped the list, trailed at No. 15, though police recently made 85 alcohol-related arrests on Thursday and Saturday last week at a non-university apartment building across from the Tempe campus.

A "party school" tag can hurt a university's reputation among student prospects and parents, and UA officials are redoubling efforts to warn students about alcohol abuse and remind them about proper behavior at sporting events.

"We are a good academic institution," said Carol Thompson, assistant vice president for student affairs. "We also have strong standards around safety and what we expect around behavior."

UA has seen an increase in alcohol violations on campus, with police reporting 484 violations in 2008, a 42 percent increase over 2007 and the most in at least five years. UA Police Commander Robert Sommerfeld attributed the rise to a combination of other violations, more officers, and more people willing to file reports.

Since fall 2008, UA has removed four fraternities for various infractions such as hazing and alcohol violations. Another fraternity had its charter pulled Aug. 27 by its national organization.

UA then asked each of the more than three dozen other sororities and fraternities to come up with an action plan this fall for curbing criminal behavior and sticking to policies.

Many are providing more education to their members about the dangers of alcohol abuse. There are discussions among fraternities about whether to prohibit alcohol at the nine of 11 on-campus fraternity houses that allow it. The 11 on-campus sorority houses already ban alcohol.

Posted on September 18th, 2009
Posted in Alcohol Abuse

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